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Dilaudid Addiction: Some Important Facts

Dilaudid is a brand name given to a semisynthetic opioid compound “hydromorphone”. It is derivative of morphine that is frequently used for the management of pain such as to ease the pain produced after a surgery. Dilaudid is a very strong painkiller and for this reason, it is only given to the patients who are not cured by other painkillers. Dilaudid is a drug with high potential to develop dependence and addiction so its use should be strictly monitored. The continued use of Dilaudid produces tolerance so it takes higher amounts of drug to produce effects. It is important to have knowledge about a drug, its functions and side effects to avoid its abuse.

Dilaudid Addiction: Some Important Facts

Table of Contents:

  • 1.What is Dilaudid?
  • 2.What are the risk factors associated with Dilaudid use?
  • 3.What are the dangers of abusing Dilaudid?
  • 4.Is it possible to overdose on Dilaudid?
  • 5.Is it possible to overdose on Dilaudid?
  • 6.Common Dilaudid drug combinations
  • 7.American statistics on Dilaudid abuse

What is Dilaudid?

Dilaudid is a potent painkiller used for the management of severe pain. It is classified as Schedule II Substance by FDA which means that this drug has a therapeutic use but it comes with high potential to develop addiction and dependence. The drug acts on the opioid receptors of the brain and modifies the way messages are transferred between the brain and the body thus suppressing the sensation of physical pain. It also works on the parts of brain concerned with happiness producing a feeling of well being.

Usually, Dilaudid is prescribed by the doctors for the treatment of pain produced due to cancer and severe injuries such as burns, surgical scars etc. The drug starts producing its effects as soon as it is taken. Most of the times, it only takes 15 minutes for it to action and its effects last for about 6 hours.

Initially, it is prescribed in small amounts such as 2mg or 4 mg to the patient. Dilaudid is available in the following forms:

  • Tablets
  • Oral liquid
  • Injectable liquid

Dilaudid tablets are available in a number of different forms such as round, triangular etc. Apart from Dilaudid, hydromorphone is also sold under a number of other brands names including:

  • Exalgo
  • Palladone
  • Dialudid-hp

Since hydromorphone abuse is common and it is used by the addicts for recreational purposes, it is given different street names such as:

  • Dillies
  • Big D
  • M-80s
  • Peaches

What are the risk factors associated with Dilaudid use?

Since Dilaudid is an opioid, dangers and risks associated with it are similar to other opioids. Dilaudid is associated with a high risk to produce addiction and dependence. There are a great number of people in United States who abuse this drug. Even people who start taking it for therapeutic purposes are at a risk of developing addiction. Since it is a high potency drug and only given to people who show resistance to other opioids, the chances of its abuse are more than other drugs.

Another risk associated with opioids use is their ability to slow down breathing. Use of potent opioids like Dilaudid increases the risk even further. There is a great risk of respiratory suppression when Dilaudid is used. If the drug is used in higher than prescribed amounts, it may suppress the breathing to dangerous levels. Overdose may also be a consequence that can prove to be fatal.

What are the dangers of abusing Dilaudid?

Dilaudid can be taken orally or injected intravenously. Those abusing Dilaudid usually tend to inject it since the effects produced this way are stronger and immediate. Some users may also crush the pill and snort the powdered drug. Since it is a strong opioid, the effects produced by it are similar to other opioids. It acts on the parts of brain associated with happiness so when it is taken in significantly large amounts, a feeling of euphoria and happiness is produced.

Dilaudid abuse is referred to the use of drug in any way that is not prescribed by a doctor. Even taking it in higher than prescribed amounts or taking it without any medical need is considered abuse. Dilaudid is a potent opioid so its users are at a high risk of overdosing on it. The continued use of drug also results into the development of tolerance so it every time, it takes higher amounts to produce effects. If the dose is continued to increase this way, it may reach a level that can be fatal.

Is it possible to overdose on Dilaudid?

It is highly likely to overdose on Dilaudid. Even people who take it to relieve pain may end up overdosing on it. The user might think he has not taken enough amounts to produce the effects so he may end up increasing the dose to dangerous levels. When taken in high amounts, Dilaudid is known to slow down breathing and blood pressure. Sometimes they are lowered to such a level that body fails to function and death is resulted.

Some of the common signs associated with Dilaudid overdose include:

  • Tablets
  • Oral liquid
  • Injectable liquid

Common Dilaudid drug combinations:

Dilaudid is often used in combination with other drugs by recreational users and addicts. Most often, it is combined with alcohol or benzodiazepines to produce a better high. Combining Dilaudid with other drugs can be extremely dangerous. Dilaudid, alcohol and benzodiazepines all are Central Nervous System suppressants. These drugs produce their effects by slowing down brain activities. When any of these are combined, the brain activity may be lowered down to such a level that body fails to function. This can even result into death.

The euphoric effects produced by this drug force the user to keep abusing it. It can even be considered a gateway drug since some people start taking other drugs like heroin to experience the feelings they experienced with Dilaudid in a better way.

American statistics on Dilaudid addiction and abuse:

Prescription painkillers are widely abused in United States. The situation is alarming since the risk factors associated with opioid painkillers can prove to be fatal.

  • Statistic show that by 2010, about 65% of world’s total Dilaudid was being consumed in United States.
  • In 2008, there were over 14,800 cases of death associated with the use of opioid pain relievers such as Dilaudid.
  • Dilaudid is a very potent opioid. It is about 8 times stronger than morphine.


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